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The death of a loved one through suicide is very difficult to face.  This painful loss leaves many questions for adults and children.  You may wonder what signs you missed or how you might have prevented it.  You may be feeling very angry, deeply hurt or guilty.  The suicide of a loved one or friend is not your fault.

Individuals who have come close to completing suicide say that in those moments the mental pain or anguish is overwhelming.  They cannot see beyond the pain to consider how their actions might hurt loved ones.

Research studies clearly indicate the biochemical components of depression.  While not all deaths by suicide may be associated with depression, many are.  It is reasonable to explain to a child that a death by suicide is the result of illness that is hard to understand.  It is important for a child to understand that the loved one was not thinking clearly.  He or she just wanted the pain to stop.  At the time a parent completes suicide he or she is very likely not thinking that their children and other loved ones will feel abandoned and betrayed.

You may be reluctant to tell a child that a loved one completed suicide.  Most children, like Sandy, can handle the truth about a death.  Sandy's mom completed suicide when she was eight.  Her dad felt strongly that Sandy should not know how her mom died.  One day Sandy told a someone, "I think my mom committed suicide, but don't tell my dad.  He doesn't know." 

Check with a grief counselor or other mental health professional if you have questions about your specific situation.  When you have experienced a death loss from suicide, you and your family may benefit from group support and/or individual grief counseling.

Additional Help

Suicide Prevention & Support
Befrienders Suicidology
Jason Foundation Survivors of Suicide
Second Wind Fund (CO: Counseling for at-risk teens)



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